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Ignacio Volunteers Program

Ignacio Volunteers (Iggy Vols) Program

The Ignacio Volunteers program provides international and domestic service immersion opportunities for undergraduate students at Loyola University New Orleans. This program aims to turn the university’s mission into tangible action by recruiting students from diverse backgrounds to come together to be people for and with others; to pursue truth, wisdom, and knowledge through meaningful pre-trip education, service, and immersion; and to find God in all that they encounter.

Participants of all service trips travel, serve, and live as one community during the experience. Participants are chosen a few months before the trip and meet regularly in advance of the actual travel. All trips are rooted in an Ignatian spiritual foundation of finding God in all things and include ongoing reflection within the community and on the trips. Fundraising for the trip is done by the group and as individuals.

Program Goals

TO SERVE: Participants will work with those of the greatest need — the impoverished and challenged, the disadvantaged young and the elderly.

TO LEARN: Participants will have an opportunity to explore the political, sociological, and economic issues that have created the environment and situation in which they will find themselves.

Program Core Values

SERVICE: Ignacio Volunteers put faith and compassion into action by keeping an open heart and a spirit of self-giving; by seeking first to understand, rather than to be understood; by being open to learning, even and especially, when it directly challenges them.

SOLIDARITY: Ignacio Volunteers serve not so much to “do for” but to “learn from” and to “be with” by encountering the joys, hopes, grief, and anxieties of those they serve by walking alongside them.

COMMUNITY: Ignacio Volunteers recognize that strength in community deepens their concern and compassion for others by loving and building community with those whom they share their journey—sharing desires, fears, hopes, questions, faith and love with each other.

SPIRITUALITY: Ignacio Volunteers commit to being fully engaged in the questions of faith, to share these questions in community, and to be open to the diversity of all traditions and experiences for Ignatian spirituality teaches us that each person’s relationship with their God is unique.

Ignacio Volunteer Spring/Summer Programs:

  • NOLA Urban Immersion (Temporarily Suspended due to COVID-19)
  • The South Africa Experience (Temporarily Suspended)
  • Jamaica Experience (Temporarily Suspended due to COVID-19)

*Recruitment for Summer Programs are held in Sept/Oct of each year*

Ignacio Volunteer Winter Programs:

  • NOLA Urban Winter Immersion (Temporarily Suspended due to COVID-19)
  • Jamaica Winter Experience (Temporarily Suspended due to COVID-19)

*Recruitment for Winter Programs are held in March/April of each year*

For more information, email us at getinvolved@loyno.edu. 

**Temporarily Suspended due to COVID-19**

TO LEARN: Participants will have an opportunity to explore inequality through the lens of the Jesuit conceptualization of social justice by being exposed to the nuanced layers of privilege and oppression in the city of New Orleans.

TO SERVE: Participants will both engage in direct service and experience and share in the personhood of others in the city of New Orleans.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The New Orleans Urban Immersion is designed to expose Loyola University New Orleans undergraduate students to the nuanced layers of privilege and oppression in the city of New Orleans as it relates to social location, gender, class, and race.

Participants will spend approximately six days of their Winter Break vacation examining inequality through the lens of the Jesuit conceptualization of social justice. This program will immerse students in the culture and history of New Orleans through the exploration of social injustices (past and present), community acts of service, and community reflection.

Participants in this domestic immersion program will learn, serve, reflect, travel, and live as one community. The program is rooted in an Ignatian spiritual foundation of finding God in all things and will include ongoing reflection within the community and during the program.

Twelve students will be chosen to participate. Upon acceptance, all students will be required to participate in an overnight retreat held at a local retreat house, weekly meetings, and a five night/six-day community living experience in the city of New Orleans. All participants will be asked to abstain from the use of technology during the duration of the community living experience. Fundraising for this program will be done by the group and as individuals.

IMMERSION ACTIVITIES WILL INCLUDE:

  • A visit to the Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola)
  • Exploration of the United States Criminal Justice System
  • Nightly group reflections
  • Group Service Day

COST:  Fundraising with a goal $450. This covers local transportation, housing, and meals for the entire week. Participants will be asked to fundraise as a group and individually and assistance in such will be given. A $75 non-refundable deposit is required upon acceptance.  

LODGING: Participants will live together in the New Orleans metro area during the immersion.

**Temporarily Suspended Due to COVID-19**

TO SERVE: Participants will work with those of the greatest need -- the impoverished & challenged, the disadvantaged young and the elderly.

TO LEARN: Participants will have an opportunity to explore the political, sociological, and economic issues that have created the environment and situation in which they will find themselves.

HISTORY OF LOCATION: Contrary to its advertising to lure tourists, Jamaica is an island nation of scarce resources and intense poverty. The city of Kingston is a crowded urban area where hundreds of thousands are living in the deepest poverty. It is a city where there are very limited social services and where many people live seeking the basic necessities of life.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The Jamaica Experience is designed to expose Loyola University undergraduate students to the history, politics, socioeconomics, and social structures of Jamaica while living & serving in the city of Kingston. 

Participants will spend approximately 10 days immersed in the culture and history of Kingston through nature & history tours and direct service in the city of Kingston. 

Participants in this international immersion program will learn, serve, reflect, travel, and live as one community. The program is rooted in an Ignatian spiritual foundation of finding God in all things and will include ongoing reflection within the community and during the program.

10-12 students will be chosen to participate. Upon acceptance, all students will be required to participate in an overnight retreat held at a local retreat house, weekly meetings during the semester before travel, and a community living experience in Kingston, Jamaica. All participants will be asked to abstain from technology during the duration of the community living experience. Fundraising for the program will be done by the group and as individuals.  

SERVICE SITES: The type of work on The Jamaica Experience will vary at each site, and include helping serve meals, washing/shaving, entertaining or writing letters, tutoring or sports & games, painting/ cleaning/ fixing up. The volunteer work sites can vary, but most likely will be:

  1. Riverton City Early Education Centre, a school located at a shanty town settlement built on the old Kingston garbage dump.
  2. The Lord's Place, a home for adults with physical and mental challenges
  3. The Home for the Destitute and Dying, a home for the elderly run by Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity.
  4. Missionaries of the Poor Bethlehem Home, an orphanage for physically and mentally challenged children and young adults.
  5. Bustamante Children's Hospital, the only children's hospital on the island of Jamaica

COST:  Fundraising with a goal $1,650. This covers air transportation (New Orleans /Kingston) local transportation, housing and meals for the entire week. Participants will be asked to fund-raise as a group and individually and assistance in such will be given. A $100 non-refundable deposit is required upon acceptance. 

**Temporarily Suspended**

TO SERVE: You will work with those of the greatest need—the impoverished & challenged and children affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. 

TO LEARN: You will have an opportunity to explore inequality through the lens of the Jesuit conceptualization of social justice by being exposed to the political, sociological and economic issues associated with apartheid & post-apartheid South Africa.

HISTORY OF LOCATION: Although it is the most popular tourist destination on the continent of Africa, its history and present are plagued by the remnants of the apartheid regime and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. There are many injustices that stem from the apartheid era, such as inadequate housing and sanitation, high unemployment, insufficient education, and high instances of poverty. Furthermore, the HIV/AIDS has claimed the lives of many and has orphaned children of all ages & levels of medical need.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The South Africa Experience is designed to expose you to the history of the apartheid regime, post-apartheid social injustices and progress, and the effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the city of Cape Town, South Africa. You will spend two weeks immersed in the culture, history, and ecology of Cape Town through nature & history tours and direct service in the city of Cape Town and its largest informal township, Khayelitsha (kai-e-li-tcha).

You will learn, serve, reflect, travel, and live as one community. The program is rooted in an Ignatian spiritual foundation of finding God in all things and will include ongoing reflection within the community and during the program. 

SERVICE SITES: Participants will spend varying amounts of time during the experience volunteering at the following partnering organizations: 

  • Homeless Feeding Programme, a community project helping provide essential meals for the homeless as well as assisting underprivileged children at the after-school programme. 
  • Youth Solutions Adult Night Shelter, a community project helping provide shelter, meals, and essential life skills for the homeless. 

COST: Fundraising with a goal $1,800. This covers air transportation (New Orleans/CapeTown) local transportation, housing and meals for the entire two weeks. Participants will be asked to fund-raise as a group and individually and assistance in such will be given. A $100 non-refundable deposit is required upon acceptance.